the usual weekly lesson by decorating bulletin boards, preparing cute crafts for the children to work on, or teaching songs to them using her Autoharp. I distinctly remember her teaching them "The JOY Song," for which she also constructed a "JOY Box." The cube-shaped box was covered with wrapping paper. She glued a picture of Jesus on one side of the cube, a picture of a group of people on another side, a picture of a boy and girl on a third side, and the word JOY on a fourth side. The song had a cute, catchy tune, and these were the lyrics: "Jesus and Others and You, What a wonderful way to spell JOY! Jesus and Others and You, In the heart of each girl and each boy. J is for Jesus, for He has first place. O is for Others you meet face to face. Y is for You, So whatever you do, Put yourself third and spell JOY!" Eager hands would wave in the air when she asked, "Who would like to hold the JOY Box?" The chosen child would then rotate the JOY box to each appropriate side as the other children sang the song. Those little faces simply beamed JOY!
At this Christmas season, may we all ponder what JOY really means. It is not the pursuit of pleasure or a fleeting moment of fun. It is not even your child's squeals of happiness as he or she tears the wrapping paper off that one special gift you finally tracked down. JOY is found in the words of that song! Lasting JOY is what you have when Jesus is the Lord of your life - when He is #1. Following His example as a servant, you will make Others your next priority. There are many needs of Others to fill throughout the year, not just at Christmas. You, then, are third on the list. However, you will discover that, in living out the word JOY, you are the one who is so blessed, you often feel as if you are in first place!
Pray that God fills your heart and life with true JOY at Christmas and in 2017. That's what a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year is really all about!
---Karen Teal, Discoveries Teacher